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Map by Emilio Trampuz

Once a year, on the first Saturday in March, we can experience skiing the way it was done before there were ski lifts on Mt. Hood.

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Geoff Mihalko shredding Private Reserve Thursday.

A relentless series of winter storms has blanketed Mount Hood with seven feet of snow in 10 days, rescuing the winter season and sending patrol crews scrambling to open new terrain safely.

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Every once in a while the smell of rotten eggs wafting over from Devil's Kitchen serves as a reminder that Mount Hood is a volcano that has erupted before, and will erupt again. What will happen next time it erupts? And how much warning will there be?

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Intense weather pounded Mount Hood all weekend, soaking skiers and snowboarders with heavy rain Saturday before rewarding them Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with deep, fresh snow that continues to accumulate.

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UPDATE 8 PM FRIDAY: Hwy. 35 between Govy and Meadows was "a giant cluster F" for hours Friday evening, according to one witness stuck in traffic there. "We had to bust around at least 5 trucks stuck on 35. Tow trucks, cops, cars, people. Everywhere. Never saw anything like it."

UPDATE 10 AM SATURDAY: Hwy. 35 has been bumper to bumper most of the morning from White River to Meadows, with unchained cars and buses stuck in the snow.

Update 6 am Sunday: I-84 has reopened one eastbound lane, although oversized trucks are still prohibited on the highway for now.

Eastbound Interstate 84 will be closed all President's Day weekend at Exit 17 near Troutdale, adding hundreds if not thousands of cars and slow-moving trucks to Mount Hood's workhorse Highways 26 and 35.

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Snow, baby, snow! Photo by Grant Myrdal. Rider's name: James Brown. Get on up!

UPDATE 5 PM FRIDAY: The rain finally has turned to snow at all three resorts including Skibowl, where it is filling in puddles and lakes created by severe rainfall earlier in the day.

It ain't over till it's over.

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Timberline has been parked out each of the past three weekends.

Timberline will no longer run free Fusion Shuttle buses up from the Skibowl West parking lot now that Skibowl is finally operating all of its lifts.

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King Winter John Wilberding with Skiyente member Linda Hilliard Matusow

It was a perfect day to celebrate the coronation of a new King Winter. The temperature was bitterly cold, the wind was almost gale-force, the snow wasn't just falling – it was blasting down.  Only those who truly love winter and the kind of weather that would put snow on Mt. Hood would dare to venture outside.

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It's a rare day when you can stage a ski race in downtown Portland.

The City of Portland's amusing inability to deal with a little snow can be a very good thing for urban skiers.

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Photo by Grant Myrdal

What a difference two weeks can make, from bare spots and rocks to a blanket of silky fresh powder from Portland to the peak.

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